Thu. May 23rd, 2019

Is Game of Thrones a Good Content Choice on Sports Radio?

“Off-topic segments still work well in sports radio. If you can make Game of Thrones entertaining, then talk about it.”

Winter is here! And so is the knowledge Jon Snow is in love with his aunt. Seriously, the former King of the North just found out his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen is one of incest. Needless to say, the look on his face was what you’d expect someone to look like after its revealed they’ve been having a sexual relationship with a family member. Tough break for Jon.

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Oh, what about Sansa Stark not giving a damn and showing Daenerys exactly what she thinks of her?  I can’t wait until Sansa finds out Jon is the true heir to the throne. She’ll handle that well.

Oh, or the cliffhanger at the end of the episode where Bran sees Jaime Lannister for the first time since season one? Bran may be weird but something is happening with that on Sunday. 

Yeah, I’m one of the millions of nerds that couldn’t wait for the new season of Game of Thrones on Sunday night. To be exact, I was one of the 17.4 million nerds HBO says watched the season premiere either on live TV or on its streaming platforms, making it the biggest telecast in HBO history. Those numbers were comparable to last year’s SEC Championship between Alabama and Georgia, which was the most-watched college football game of the 2018 season. You can make a strong argument that GOT is currently the most popular show on television. 

I’m passionate about Game of Thrones, but as I’ve found out on social media, many other show hosts are, too. So that bears the obvious question, should I talk about it on my show?

Zach Gelb was on the air for an overnight shift on Monday night for CBS Sports Radio. He admitted he’s not a fan of Game of Thrones but he also realizes how popular the show has become. So with four hours to fill on a 2 – 6 a.m. EST show, did he discuss it at all?

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“We did talk about it,” said Gelb. “We were trying to figure out if there was more interest in holes 15 and on during the Masters or Game of Thrones. We were going through Twitter and searching Tiger Woods’ name as well as some of the characters from Game of Thrones. We then asked the question: if you could only watch one, which one would you watch?”

Though Gelb isn’t a fan of the show, he still mentioned it while keeping a sports question along with it. I like that. Granted, Game of Thrones is popular, but not so overwhelming that you feel that you absolutely have to mention it even if you didn’t watch. Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd also mentioned it, but mostly to poke fun at the show. In a tweet by Fox Sports Radio that released the podcast of Cowherd’s Monday show, it included quotes such as this: 

“I watched golf, NBA Playoffs and UFC all weekend. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl of wolf people, sorcerers, dragons and ice zombies and I didn’t watch any of it.”

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“I thought Jon Snow was a middle reliever for the Brewers.”

Okay, that’s pretty funny by Cowherd, I’ll give him that. Even though he did acknowledge that its viewership and accomplishments make it one of the best shows of all-time. I’ll also commend him for totally ignoring Game of Thrones in his personal life, while still mentioning it on his show and making it entertaining. I suppose that’s why he’s the best in the business. 

Gelb feels very similar to Cowherd on discussing Game of Thrones on the air. Whether it’s talking about the show, or the NBA Finals or the NFL Draft, whatever, make it entertaining to the listener. 

“The thing is, it all comes down to entertainment,” Gelb said. “If there’s something in the show that you can relate to sports or it’s something interesting enough to make entertaining, go ahead. But I wouldn’t plan every Monday at 7:00 to talk 15 minutes about the episode the previous night. Not all of your audience is watching it.”

As an avid watcher of the show, I agree with Gelb on that statement. The majority of your audience doesn’t want to hear you spend an entire segment breaking down an episode. For one, the obvious, is not all your listeners are into the show. Two, some of the listeners that are actually into the show, may still have it on DVR and haven’t had time to watch it yet, especially if you’re talking about it the next day.

If you really feel like you need to mention it, you can come up with a fun, creative and entertaining way to talk about Game of Thrones by tying it to something in the sports world. That way, everyone wins. 

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Off-topic segments still work well in sports radio. If you can make Game of Thrones entertaining, then talk about it. Like anything else though, you always need to keep your audience in mind.  

“I think people like and appreciate when you talk about movies and television series, but I don’t think people want breakdowns of Game of Thrones,” said Gelb. “But I think if you find a way to tie in the show, because it’s such a dominant social media topic, I think people will find it interesting.”